The gentleman simply stared at me. In silence. Hard and total. Silence.
So I went on, “you see they got this woods up there on the north forty over on the edge like near the creek you know where Buck Jansen’s mule drowned and they had to swab it all out on account of the disease that got in there from the corpse and that was a whole thing but what I was meant to be saying here was that them woods was all trees like you may have seen not like them ones that grow them bananas those are from from what where put a question mark there the ocean down out there someplace exotic is it put another question mark there well foreign anyways and not like them trees in that woods no because like I said bananas ain’t natural up in them parts on account of the squirrels I think who apparently are hellfire on bananas enough so that they don’t want to naturally occur in them parts out of self-preservation I’d reckon and probably weather too sure why not it’s not like they’re pine cones which is what I’m talking about because they flourish up here as squirrels do with them as they do bananas and monkeys in parts foreign or what where that’s a question mark and now what with the mule infested creek giving fits and rashes to the folk downstream it seemed like a good idea to everyone that perhaps a swabbing was called for logical yes also monkeys are wild for coconuts and then look if you gave them a pine cone it’s going to be like a squirrel with a banana but different of course because you don’t peel a coconut you crack it like they did with the corpse of that dead mule and the gingivitis or pimples or what have you on the personages down stream there’s a problem you investigate you figure it out like how to peel a pine cone just ask a monkey and they’ll show you I mean it they will they’re the squirrels of the sea those monkeys all of them from some place over some what where foreign sure but the principle is the same mules squirrels monkeys bananas coconuts pine cones skin irritations all up there in that wood on the north forty by the creek understand and you can question mark that.”
There was a long time as the gentleman visibly ground his mental gears. Finally—
“Okay,” he said, “let me put it another way. You see, without your receipt we normally can’t make a refund or exchange already, and that’s policy by the way, not me deciding, but without the product you say you purchased we, and that includes me personally now, especially can’t do anything for you because technically and actually there’s nothing to refund or exchange.”
“I told you already I dropped the dang banana in the creek. And the receipt was lost in the fire.”
“Greg’s lean-to. Didn’t you hear? Burnt right to the ground. Killed him and his six chickens.”
“Well now you’ve just got to be full on acting ignorant on purpose. Who’s Greg. You can keep your dang banana. And I hope you get a rash.”
I stomped on out of there like a mule on fire.